“Imperfections” in life are the fuel to empower us (6C Kung Ka Yi, Belinda)



Your drama class teacher introduced a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: ‘What’s done cannot be undone’ and asked you to write an essay answering the question:

Can regret and gold help make someone stronger? 

Write the essay. State your view and give reasons to support it.

Many have heard of the famous quote from Macbeth “What’s done cannot be undone”. To put it modernly, as we say, “It is what it is”. Time is an interesting thing that only flows forward, thanks that we have done in the past could not be rewinded and harm we have caused in the past would not be undone. And this is why would develop the regret and guilt. Although the lingering feeling of shame from the “dark past” one has is definitely not comfortable, I believe that regret and guilt are actually a fuel, pushing us to improve and be stronger.

To begin with, regret and guilt make one remember their past mistakes, preventing them from reoccurence. As it was mentioned, the feelings after wronging someone stay. We repeatedly chew up our wrongdoings, beat ourselves up, as we realised that we missed a great opportunity, harmed the value that we are proud of, or even worse, hurt a person that we love. For example, if we cheat in a maths exam and got the highest mark, everytime our friends mentioned how good we are at the subject, with flashback to the moment when we were being dishonest and that exam. And we feel underserved of the compliments, even though we may actually be good at maths. Therefore, to prove oneself that we are actually capable and to rebuild our value of honesty, in order to feel less guilty about lying, we will actually stop cheating and start revising more to match with the previous results. This demonstrates how regret and guilt make one beware of the mistakes, and help them become better people, as they do not want to feel the same anymore.

Moreover, the regret and guilt that cannot be resolved, teach one to accept the weaknesses and the flaws in life. Of course, most of the time, regret and guilt help us improve, but occasionally, they also make us realise the limits we have as a human being and how much we should cherish the good things that we are left with. It may be the time when we broke our heart seeing our loved ones passed away before making enough memories with them. It may be the moment when we realise that we have to neglect others’ needs to save ourselves. We will never be able to retrieve what we have done. We will never be able to change some parts of ourselves that are not we are totally proud of, the one thing that we can do is to accept. Therefore, through time, through life, we learnt to carry these regret and guilt and see the world with more hope. Only by embracing the imperfections with the regret and guilt can one treasure the good things remained. Only by admitting that we sometimes like the control for everything can we be stronger in facing the unexpected.

Of course, some may say that regret and guilt can easily be used as a tool to manipulate one’s emotions, therefore it actually makes one weak. However, it should be reminded that regret and guilt can coexist with alertness. One can regret about their mistakes, while being alert enough not to fall into a loophole of self-doubt and negative self talk to be easily manipulated, though practice is needed. And the process of practising is actually what makes one stronger. It is not a piece of cake how one can recognise their flaws, work on improving them with a positive mindset, instead of being shameful and fragile because of it. It takes a clear set of self-awareness and also great merciness for one to be able to know and accept where the imperfections are and not to get fooled by the sly people, into doing whatever they want just because of one’s guilt. Through living with regret and guilt as warriors and not to be shameful because of them, we can be strong.

In conclusion, regret and guilt are best fuel for making us stronger. In them, we learn to improve our shortcomings and become better people, accept the imperfections and be hopeful in life, and develop a clear sense of self-awareness and not be controlled by our shame.

What’s done cannot be undone, so why not learn and benefit from it?